‘The Good Wife’ Series Finale – My Full Review


It’s tough to end a television show, and when the creators and writers have long been tied to their characters, there’s a difficult balance between pleasing the audience and keeping one’s creative vision intact. ‘The Good Wife’ finale solidified that sad fact with its sub-par last episode, and the audience erupted in rage. In short, she didn’t get the guy, she left her husband, and she got a hard, literal slap in the face from her counterpart, who she arguably crossed for her own benefit. Did she learn anything or find any sense of real happiness along the way? I’d say no, but at least her long lost love made a post-mortem return in a fantasy scene, and we all got to say goodbye to the beloved Will Gardner (Josh Charles).

While I like the idea of a woman having a “happy ending” that is not dependent on a man, there was no happy ending for Alicia. I found an interview with the creators and listened to their cerebral explanation of the episode’s events, and I can only say that they have lived too long with these characters and lost sight of the big picture. According to Robert King and Michelle King, Alicia’s journey began and ended with a “slap,” the first for her husband and the last for her, as she slowly became the corrupt person that she resented in episode one (i.e. her husband). She looks ahead to the future and marches on sans man, and Jason Crouse (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has disappeared for a less complicated life.

As a lawyer, I resent the notion that zealous representation is corrupt, and I also resent the idea that Alicia’s sense of morality is somehow inversely tied to her ability to advocate for her clients. I believe she became a strong, no-nonsense individual that finally fought for what she wanted in life (a job, a divorce, and a decent love life), and she was not rewarded for any of those revelations. She was punished. It’s no one’s fault, though. Writers and creators just cannot adequately end television shows.

The Good Wife Grieves — Alicia Loses Will

the-good-wifeWhile I’m still personally peeved about Josh Charles stage left exit from The Good Wife, it certainly pivoted the show in a new direction, which can be a good thing. On tonight’s episode, the characters grieved for their colleague who was executed at the hands of his client. Alicia was especially mournful, which will likely create distance from her husband, whom she previously cheated on with Will. As for when the show will return to its plot-driven roots instead of this character-heavy excess, that has yet to be seen.

As an aside, if Josh Charles is reading this, let me just send a specific poke in his direction. A 22 episode season on a hit network show is any actor’s dream job. Each season has a summer hiatus, followed by a break nearly every three weeks so the writers can catch up. I cannot understand the choice to leave. And did I mention that most of those “long work days” are spent in the trailer while other actors shoot their scenes? It baffles me that he didn’t want to renegotiate this gravy train. And for the network executives that orchestrated this mess, I have another message. I realize you’re often desperate to sign the star you’re after. Let this be a lesson not to let aggressive agents bamboozle you into allowing a four year contract instead of the standard six. I’m angry with everyone involved.